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Student Spotlight: Amanda Smith

Posted: December 14, 2018  |  by Michelle Vasquez
Filed Under: Dreeben School of Education

Amanda SmithAmanda Smith will graduate at the 2018 Fall Commencement on Saturday, Dec. 15. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with minors in reading and special education and will be certified in Core Subjects EC-6.

Amanda talks about how the UIW Teacher Education Program helped her achieve her dream to become a teacher and the struggles she had along the way.

"UIW was my second chance. College for me has been a ten-year process. After I received my associate's degree, I thought that was the end of my journey. I became a teaching assistant at a wonderful school. The staff at that school pushed me to consider more for my life. UIW has been that more. Being accepted into the program changed my life. It was hard to combine evening classes with having to get up the next morning and go to work. But I wouldn't change a second of the process.”

As Amanda continued the program, she gained the support that was needed to continue her journey with motivation from faculty and staff.

"The Teacher Education Program has been so welcoming from day one. Dr. Elda Martinez was always there to help, share a kind word, or just provide support. Teacher Certification Officer Connie Sabo-Risley has been great. She worked with my schedule and helped me get through the testing process. I hated the process as I went through it but now that I'm certified and able to work right out of school, I am so grateful. Thank you so much to all the wonderful staff that helped me. I didn't think this was possible for my life."

After graduation, Amanda hopes to secure a job as a pre-kindergarten teacher and teach young children as they continue their educational journey.


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